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Historical Fiction Agents/Publishers

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dgaughran
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Historical Fiction Agents/Publishers

Postby dgaughran » Thu January 7th, 2010, 10:09 am

Hi all,

There was a great thread on here a year or two ago which mentioned some agents and publishers that were currently actively seeking historical fiction. It was really, really useful

I have now finished my final edit and I am looking for an agent. Does anyone know who in particular is really looking for historical fiction now?

Does anyone know if there are any agents or publishers looking for something set in south america?

Thanks

Dave
A STORM HITS VALPARAISO - Historical novel set in 1800s South America. Read first chapter at: http://www.davidgaughran.com

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michellemoran
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Postby michellemoran » Fri January 8th, 2010, 4:08 pm

Hi Dave,

Personally, I would start my search for agents versus publishers, since most publishers don't accept unagented submissions. There are many, many agents out there looking for historical fiction. It really depends on what kind of HF you write. My best advice is to join Publishers Marketplace and see which agents are actively selling and repping HF.
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Margaret
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Postby Margaret » Fri January 8th, 2010, 9:31 pm

Another approach would be to read some recently published (probably within the last 5 years or so), successful novels that resemble yours and check the acknowledgements sections to see who the authors' agents are, then approach those agents.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings and over 600 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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Anna Elliott
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Postby Anna Elliott » Fri January 8th, 2010, 11:41 pm

"Margaret" wrote:Another approach would be to read some recently published (probably within the last 5 years or so), successful novels that resemble yours and check the acknowledgements sections to see who the authors' agents are, then approach those agents.


That is true and can definitely be a great approach. I know some agents, though, will not accept new books that would be seen to "compete" with their existing authors work. Not always, of course, but it does happen if books are too similar.
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N. Gemini Sasson
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Postby N. Gemini Sasson » Sat January 9th, 2010, 3:10 pm

"Anna Elliott" wrote:That is true and can definitely be a great approach. I know some agents, though, will not accept new books that would be seen to "compete" with their existing authors work. Not always, of course, but it does happen if books are too similar.


The same often applies to publishers.

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Postby EC2 » Sun January 10th, 2010, 11:37 am

"Anna Elliott" wrote:That is true and can definitely be a great approach. I know some agents, though, will not accept new books that would be seen to "compete" with their existing authors work. Not always, of course, but it does happen if books are too similar.


Mine will look at historical outside the period or genre of an existing client, but nothing too close for that very reason.
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Postby dgaughran » Sun January 10th, 2010, 12:01 pm

So...anyone know any agents who are actively seeking new authors writing historical fiction?
A STORM HITS VALPARAISO - Historical novel set in 1800s South America. Read first chapter at: http://www.davidgaughran.com

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Margaret
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Postby Margaret » Sun January 10th, 2010, 6:25 pm

David, there are a number of guidebooks where you can find this information. Writer's Digest publishes one. Jeff Hermann has one out. And there are websites you can go to that have this information. Writer's Digest has a website that is updated frequently - there is an annual fee to be a member, but I don't think it's very high. It takes a bit of work to comb through these sources and put together a list of agents who are actively looking for clients and who also represent historical fiction, but it's very worthwhile. You can then go on line and look at these agents' websites, see what other authors they (or their agency) represent, and get a sense of whether the work they represent is similar to yours. For example, your historical novel may have a literary flavor, a blood-and-guts adventure flavor, a romantic flavor, a touch of fantasy, etc. An agent who likes to represent fantasy might represent a historical fantasy novel even if s/he doesn't represent other types of historical novels. An agent who represents sensitive literary novels set in the nineteenth or early 20th centuries may not be interested in a medieval war story, etc.
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dgaughran
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Postby dgaughran » Mon January 11th, 2010, 12:56 pm

Hi Margaret,

Your advice is sound, sorry I didn't mean to sound like a newbie who hadn't down any research. I have combed various guides similar to the ones that you mention and have spent a lot of time researching appropriate agents.

The kind of pointers that I was looking for were on this old thread:
http://www.historicalfictiononline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=482

Some posters had heard that specific agents/editors were actively seeking various types of historical fiction and I was hoping to hear if anyone had some up to date news.

Regards

David
Last edited by dgaughran on Mon January 11th, 2010, 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: corrected link
A STORM HITS VALPARAISO - Historical novel set in 1800s South America. Read first chapter at: http://www.davidgaughran.com

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Postby Libby » Tue January 12th, 2010, 7:53 pm

David, I feel your pain.

I've just received another rejection from an agent, despite having a publishing deal with a small publisher.

What I've found is that agents who don't handle historical fiction aren't interested in representing it, but the ones who already do don't want to take on another writer as they fear a conflict of interests.

It could be that my books are rubbish, but if that were true how would I have negotiated my own publishing contract? I am, in fact, offering these agents money for nothing and still they aren't interested.

I can't decide if they haven't actually read my letter or whether having the deal with the small publisher is actually working against me rather than for me.

I'm sorry to sound so negative, but it is very frustrating. I have three friends who are writers who have all found an agent without much trouble, but they all write modern 'chick lit' type books. I sometimes wonder if I've not only picked a genre which requires an inordinate amount of research, but one that is nigh on impossible to sell to a mainstream publisher as well.
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